All RESOURCE Christmas
Sue Clutterham, Becca Dean, Karen Herrick, Alex Taylor and Gemma Willis, Scripture Union, 2017

£11.99 (Approx)
3.6
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

Brand new, up-to-date, fresh and exciting ideas from Scripture Union! Celebrate Christmas in style with crafts, dramas, prayer ideas, family funday outlines, all-age talks and much, much more, especially designed to work in any context.

Great resources for all-age services, small groups, children’s groups, youth groups – and even in school…

The Christmas story is one of the most important parts of the Christian faith, and these resources bring it alive in engaging and inspiring ways…
Take a look inside to find out more!

What do you get?

96 page resource book which includes: craft ideas, dramas, games prayers, all-age talks and services, monologues of the people from the Christmas story, family fun day outlines and resource pages.

Who is it for?

All ages of children (games and crafts are adapted in difficulty) with some adult content for all-age services.

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Extremely good. There are clear headings and sub headings, lots of colours and the layout is easy to navigate and interpret.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    The overall aim of this resource is to give new ideas and resources for the Christmas period. It works as an aid to help church leaders create new and exciting Christmas services so leaders can pick and choose what they want to take and leave. For this reason, specific aims for each section are not defined because this is not necessary for the purpose of the resource.

    How accessible are the leader’s notes?

    Leader’s notes are clear and easy. Activities created for individual use such as craft activities lay out exactly how to do each one, whereas group activities such as dramas give context and settings. Leader’s notes are consistently easy to understand and fit for purpose.

    Who could lead it?

    This would depend on what event the materials are being used for. Generally, each idea in itself could be led by any adult wanting to engage children in the Christmas story. Larger scale events or all-age services require children’s workers and church leaders to decide a format for services or groups which the activities can then be incorporated in to.

    How helpful are the participants’ resources?

    Participants’ resources come in the form of photocopiable pages at the end which aid some of the activities in the book. There are very simple and easy to use.

    How good is any digital material?

    N/A

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Preparation is dependent entirely on the type of session being run. These activities and ideas are designed to work around any format of Christmas celebrations whether that is in an all-age service, childrens’ group or community event. Key preparation for any event would be leaders deciding on their running order and times; they can then pick out easy-to-do activities, talks, games and crafts. Some of the ideas contain little preparation and financial investment, however others include more expensive resources and time so regardless of format, leaders should read activities and plan well in advance.

    Is there website support? Links?

    N/A

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    This is done well in most activities and varies depending on which category is chosen, i.e. games, monologues or crafts etc. Interaction is brilliant with the all-age service outlines, and prayer sections which encourage discussion with children.

    How well does it cater for a variety of both learning and delivery styles?

    Very well. There are crafts and games for those who learn with their hands, talks for those who learn best by listening and choices of visual aids for some activities too.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    The resource is very adaptable as it contains many different ideas which can be chosen and slotted in to whatever format the leader has chosen. All the ideas can be used in schools, churches, Sunday school and community events. The crafts have different difficulty levels which can be chosen depending on your age group, and there are all-age extras which adapt crafts in to suitability for all-age services. As the title suggests, this book is designed to complement events around Christmas time so is relatively inflexible for use at other times of the year; however, there are some crafts and prayers which can be adapted to suit Easter celebrations as they include ideas for other variations. Although there are lots of ideas, each one lacks a time-frame, so leaders will need to plan realistically based on resources and attendees. Some of the crafts include expensive or non-standard materials so these may be less suitable for large congregations. If the church is using the all-age service outlines, the direction and talk is included but there are subheadings of ‘sing’ and ‘prayer’ where leaders would have to select their own worship songs and prayers to slot in.

    How well does it encourage people to work together in applying the material?

    This is done well particularly in the prayer ideas section as children apply their learning of the Christmas story to life. It is also done well in the talks, however, as there is no suggested chronological order, leaders will need to ensure the message they are teaching across the activities is consistent.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    There are Bible references in the craft, monologues, talks and some prayer sections. There is less direct Bible content in the other areas.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Biblical material is presented in dramas, monologues and talks mostly (with aids or helpers). Depending on the purpose of the session the use of the material will be different. For example, will you use the material to then apply to a craft or to ask open questions in an all-age service?

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Mostly this is done in the prayer sections and all-age talks as children are asked to reflect on the Christmas story, what it means, and what it means to them.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    That Jesus was born to save people. There is some liturgy included, which can be omitted if preferable, in some prayer sections and all-age service formats.

  • How well does it inspire people towards whole-life discipleship?

    The main focus is to teach the Christmas story and the significance of the birth of Jesus. Children are then encouraged to think about what this means for them and how they act and treat others.

    How well does it encourage and enable people to grow in their faith?

    This will depend on the event the leader is putting together. If lots of prayer ideas and talks are included with discussion then growth may be more of a focus. If a session consists of lots of games and crafts there will be less discussion and focus on growing in faith. The ideas are there to be presented as fit for many occasions such as school settings, community events, churches, family fun days and Sunday school groups. Growth in faith is slightly limited, due to the fact that the children are only learning about one event across all activities: Christmas.

    How well does it stretch faith and vision of God and his purposes?

    Again this depends on what the session includes. One key area that it covers in the Christmas story is that Jesus is for everyone, and there is a specific mentioning the prayer section of Jesus being a refugee so we need to learn to love people from all different countries and walks of life.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Appropriately for the Christmas season. Children think about the gift of Jesus and think about the importance of being thankful at a time where gifts are so poignant. Children also think in the prayer section about those who may not be having a merry Christmas and are encouraged to remember those in less fortunate circumstances.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Gently by opening up the idea of children talking to others about the meaning of Christmas, and what the gift of Jesus means.

    How well does it encourage local or network-based community involvement?

    Includes ideas which can be easily suited for community events, such as family fun days and all-age services.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    There is specific mention of world leaders not being able to fix the world, and those who are sad at Christmas. Children learn that some people are seeking a place to be safe at Christmas and are reminded that Jesus himself was a refugee.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Indirectly suggested by talking about travel as Mary and Joseph did, but not explicit nor a focus of this resource.

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